Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Trippin' with My Medieval Alter Ego

Okey Dokey. Here are some examples of my illuminations. Actually, these three are taken from a star book that is practically all I have left of my illuminations. I made the book just to experiment with different color combinations. Tell me which is your favorite!

Trying to overcome a distaste for brown. Sorta worked.

Monochromatic blues...yum.

Looks more Chinese than Celtic, but so what?

Here are directions in case you're feeling the desire to follow your inner medievalist.

1. Trace the designs (from a variety of sources...lots of copyright-free line art out there) onto 90lb hot-press Arches watercolor paper with a light table and a dip pen using waterproof India ink. If you don't like dip pens, you can trace with waterproof artist pens. But I like dip pens...they make me feel like a medieval monk.

2. Paint the design with Windsor & Newton gouache, which is opaque watercolor. (If you decide to try this, DO NOT go cheap on the paint. You will deeply regret it. Trust me. Get the W&N.) You'll need a couple of small round watercolor brushes for this. (Again, don't go cheap on the brushes...they shed hairs into your paint and make you swear. Get sable for life or plan on replacing the mid-price brushes frequently.)

3. Finally, go over the inked lines with a very, very tiny brush and black gouache to clean up the lines.* This was really hard and took a very steady hand. I practiced A LOT before I made this book. Fortunately, if you screw it up, you can paint over it again. Gouache is pretty forgiving.

Some designs are fairly simple and quick, and others are hugely complex and take days just to trace. My best project was a Psalter for my mother. I made a complex Japanese stab binding with mat board covered in black Canson paper and a recessed illuminated medallion in the center. I copied ten psalms in calligraphy using Carolingian lettering and embellished each with a different small illuminated knot and random little embellishments (such as a little lizard from the Book of Kells). It was the last calligraphy/illumination project I did. Took three months and by the end I really, really, really needed a break. I took up stamping, and the rest is history.

*Funny story. My mom is a serious watercolor artist who kept all her drawing and painting talent to herself and passed none on to me, a person who stoops to tracing on a light table without shame. When Mom saw my tiny, tiny outlining brush, she got all snooty about it, calling it useless. She deigned to paint an illumination with me and when it came time to do step three, she tried to use one of her larger brushes. It didn't work. She kept moving to smaller and smaller brushes until she asked to use my tiny, tiny brush. I may have gloated.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Yu-Gi-Oh Cards and Old Biology Textbooks

My firstborn son experienced epic violation Tuesday evening when his Yu-Gi-Oh deck was stolen in the waiting room at the Children's clinic where my second born receives speech therapy. If you don't know what a Yu-Gi-Oh deck is, you are so very, very lucky. If you DO know, please pray that whoever stole these will have a parent discover the theft and return the cards or be stricken with a guilty conscience and return them of his own volition. For Nick, this is the worst thing to happen to him in his short life and is a tragedy on par with the Titanic, the Hindenburg, and going to sixth grade.

Oy. Sometimes, motherhood involves standing quietly by as your child melts down in agony and knowing just the right moment to go in for the hug. I'm traumatized. Can you tell?

ANYWAY, as I've been going through books and purging, I found my mother's old biology textbook. I've kept it for sentimental reasons: I pretended to be a college student studying biology when I was in third grade and mom was in dental hygiene school. The book she let me play with was actually her old high school book, a paperback printed on highly acidic, cheap paper that has yellowed beautifully with age. As my purging self contemplated throwing it in the recycling bin, I realized that I would rather tear it up and use it on cards.

So I made this.

A close-up so you can read how appropriate the text is for the image.
I searched for hours to get this right!
(Not really.)

It's not bad for a first effort at tearing up a act that made me look over my shoulder repeatedly in case my third-grade librarian should appear and yell at me for violating a book!

And isn't that tiny paper clip the cutest widdle ting ever?!?!? It's from a Tim Holtz hardware pack I picked up a few years ago. Eeep! I used one!!!!

And now for two points of business from my last post.

1. I heat-set the Memento ink on the fabric because it wasn't drying quickly enough and I worried it would smear. Memento is waterproof but I'm not sure how waterproof it is on fabric.

2. I will take some pictures of my calligraphy and illumination efforts to share, but I warn you...there's a reason I turned to rubber stamping. Calligraphy and illumination appealed to the medievalist in me, and they were fun, but they're not clean and simple, and I wasn't good at them.

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf
ink: Versacolor
paper: Papertrey vintage ivory
accessories: old biology book, paper clip, ribbon, glue stick, corner rounder

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Little Book

In the giant stash of stuff Audrie sent me last fall was a little fabric book on a ring. Y'all may not know this but I started my life as a papercrafter by making artist's books with calligraphy and illuminations. I have fretted and worried over what to do with this fabulous little cloth book...until the other day when I had Papertrey's Beautiful Blessings out on my desk and realized there were enough verses and saying in it to fill the ten pages of the book. So I made this.

The leaves are from Papertrey's Turning a New Leaf...a wonderful set for CAS stamping. I used three shades of ink from Memento, plus brown, and heat set the ink with an embossing gun. The simplicity of the design keeps the focus on the words, while the touch of color (canteloupe, lavender, and pear tart) adds interest.

The book is a gift for a friend who has done me several favors over the past few months and who prays for me and my family every single day. She gives amazing hugs, too. So thank you, Audrie, for giving me this little blank book. You blessed me and my friend with it!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You're in my Prayers

I never think of using my computer to make cards as I spend quite enough time on this thing as it is (writing, you know...not surfing Pinterest or anything wasteful of time like that!). When I craft, I like to channel my inner kindergartner...from way back when kindergartners didn't have iPhones and internet access in their bedrooms. In fact, before whats-his-face even invented the internet.

So my complaint about how annoying PTI's Simple Alphabet is to use sparked an idea in kind reader Mary Anne that never would have occurred to me in this lifetime. She suggested making the tag letters on Friday's card with a computer...which would be a very easy way to get lots of fonts and not have to mess with tiny little clear stamps. For those of you who appreciate just how stunningly creative our computers can make us, I share Mary Anne's idea with you. Run with it.

Also, several people have asked about the status of my craft room. I've decided to move everything to the nook in the main room of the basement, the one with the sliding glass door and wonderful natural light. I despise being in the bedroom as it's incredibly quiet and isolated from my family. The carpet pad under the nook is askew and needs to be fixed before I can effect the move, but hopefully, that will be finished this week. I'll get all this figured out eventually and will share pictures when it's all said and done.

And now for two cards I need to send this week. I love Harvest Berries and Beautiful Blessings, two wonderful sets from Papertrey. They really compliment each other so well! The cards are 4.25" square and I rounded the unstamped corners to create a greater sense of movement on the totally flat card. I think it works!

Thanks so much for reading Simplicity, for encouraging me, and and for making my little corner of the internet such a warm and wonderful place!

stamps: PTI

ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: corner chomper

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My First Christmas Card of 2012

I'm still working through the cool gifts I received last fall and Christmas, and today's card features the SU tag punch sent to me by Audrie, aka girlgeek. I wanted to make a white-on-white card, and ended up making a white-on-white-on-white-on-white card instead. That's a lot of white, and a little bit of cherry cobbler thrown in, you know, just for fun.

The letters are from PTI's mini alphabet called Simple Alphabet. This alphabet is a pain in the butt to use because the letters are SO SMALL and lining them up perfectly is almost impossible. Since it's such a clean alphabet, each little spacing bobble shows up like a neon sign, at least to my AR/OC eyes. (Whimsical alphas are so much easier to work with as spacing is more forgiving.)

For this card, I stamped each letter on white card stock with plenty of space around it for punching, then centered each letter in the punch (turning the punch upside down to see where the letter was!), and punched. The l is still a little high, but it's nowhere near as noticeable as it would be if I'd stamped all four letters together.

If you're AR/OC enough, you can ALWAYS find a work-around to a problem.

And yes, if you are AR/OC enough, you start making Christmas cards in February. Just for fun!

stamps: PTI
ink: SU cherry cobbler
paper: PTI
accessories: SU tag punch, embroidery thread, dimensionals, tiny little self-adhesive rhinestones

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Self-Adhesive Canvas

Kegbo (her name at SCS) kindly sent me some pieces of self-adhesive canvas, and I finally had a chance to play with this cool product that I didn't even know existed until she sent it.

Isn't she the sweetest?!?!

Some free advice...don't bother cutting out flowers stamped on the canvas and then adhering them so they directly overlap each other. It looks bad. Just sayin'.

I'm always more successful when I keep things simple (well, duh) and this card keeps it simple.

Crisp and clean, yet soft and weathered, with that wonderful canvas texture, and a touch of brown Stickles...JUST BECAUSE!


I look forward to making more cards with kegbo's gift. I'm determined to cut out shapes and layer them successfully, but I suspect that will require mounting the canvas on card stock first, and then using dimensionals. Sigh.

I'm getting tired just thinking about doing that.

No, I'm not lazy. Why do you ask?

stamps: Hero Arts (discontinued), Papertrey (sentiment)
ink: Ancient Page Deep Harbor, Memento cocoa
paper: PTI white, self-adhesive canvas
accessories: Stickles

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One-Layer Wednesday 80: Two by Two Plus Masking

This week's One-Layer Wednesday (a.k.a. OLW) Challenge is to use two colors, two images, and masking. Sentiments are optional but must be in one of the two colors, just to make the whole thing more diabolical, um, challenging.

Like this.

Red and green. Two strawberries. A sentiment in green.

Go, me!

OLW80 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single layer of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed.

2. Use two colors PLUS two images PLUS masking. Sentiments, if included, must be in one of the two colors.

3. Keep embellishments to a minimum.

4. Upload your card somewhere on the internet and then link to it using the InLinkz tool on the sidebar of Simplicity!

5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

stamps: Papertrey Green Thumb
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: corner chomper

Monday, February 20, 2012

Go Toward the Light...

Due to the failure of my Ott light bulb this evening (the flickering of which would have brought on a seizure if I had seizures), the photo of today's card has been replaced with this photo of my favorite new lamp, which quite frankly was useless in helping with the Ott light issue but makes my library look quite festive in an Arts and Craftsy way.

Do you know the dragonflies at Yellowstone National Park are red? Iridescent dark red, including the wings. I'd never seen such coloring before but there they were in August of 2003 near Old Faithful. The dragonflies on this lamp are a hybrid of the Yellowstone variety and every other variety I've seen in my life. And that red will carry nicely into the dining room beside the library.

Anyway, I'm going to find a new 13-watt Ott bulb tomorrow and hopefully my card using self-adhesive canvas (a gift from reader kegbo!) will look better with the full-spectrum light 'cause it looked like hee-haw with an incandescent bulb and with a flash.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Tired Sweet Pea

Since I had Papertrey's Green Thumb out, I decided to make a generic note card (not for an occasion, just for cuteness). A little masking (that didn't work the first time so I had to start over), and we get sweet peas!

I've been thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) about stuff and things...nothing cosmic or alarming...related to creativity and experimenting, play and growth and new stuff. I hope to be able to share these thoughts soon, but they are currently too amorphous (nebulous? diaphanous? infantile? no, not infantile...embryonic?) at the moment.

Have a lovely Presidents' Day (assuming the apostrophe is correct...does anyone know?). I (for one) plan on being quite parenthetical (for no reason other than I haven't used them much lately and feel sorry for them).

And no, I haven't been drinking (aside from that little glass of chardonnay hours ago that accompanied a delicious bowl of my hub's chicken fried rice). It's just been a really weird weekend (and not bad weird, just weird), and I'm seriously tired (and punchy).

Peace out.

(Did I punctuate that correctly? It doesn't look right. Why do I want to put a comma after peace?)

(Yes. I know. I'm going to bed immediately.)

(You're welcome.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

OLW79: Take Two

Here's my card, as promised, using SEVEN stamps...well, nine if you count the toe and handle of the rubber boot, but that seems a tad silly.

The stamps are from Papertrey's Green Thumb, combined with a woven background stamp (discontinued) from Hero Arts. I wanted a collage-y effect, without the usual vintage/shabby/artsy feel of collage.

I was so very happy with this card and am already thinking of ways to pull this clean-and-simple collage off in the future!

Remember to play along with this OLW on Jennifer's Blog!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Green Thumb, Hero Arts discontinued background
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: orange rhinestones, corner chomper

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One-Layer Wednesday 79: Stamp, Stamp, Stamp...

This week's OLW challenge, hosted by Jennifer, is to use at least three--preferably more--stamps on your one-layer card. The more, the merrier!

My card uses a shocking FOUR stamps, but then I got carried away and made another card with even MORE stamps. But that will have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm such a tease.

But really, after two and a half hours of stamping today, I only have two cards to show you, and so I have to spread them out. Life's like that sometimes.

Today's card combines two of my favorite Papertrey sets: Gracious Vases and Peaceful Garden. The cheery summer colors made me very happy on this gray and rainy day. I added some Carrot Smooch and yellow Sakura Stardust accents for a little shimmer, and they tie in nicely with the satin-edged ribbon (which isn't nearly as florescent as it looks in the picture!).

So click on over to Jennifer's blog and play along with the OLW this week!

stamps: Papertrey Gracious Vases, Peaceful Garden
ink: Memento
paper: PTI
accessories: Sakura stardust pen, Smooch, satin-edge ribbon, anywhere hole punch (under the ribbon knot)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Colored Card Base

I found a stash of pre-cut colored card bases in my stash and decided to use them. This is a certainly celery base with wasabi mat. The pearls totally make this card for me.

I completely ruined several colored bases with egregious ugliness before coming up with this, proving that I'm really more of a one-layer gal. But this one isn't a complete waste of card stock! *wink*

Don't forget to check Jennifer's blog late on Wednesday for this week's OLW. I'm so looking forward to getting back to one layer!!!

stamps: Hero Arts (all discontinued)
ink: Versacolor green tea
paper: SU celery, wasabi; PTI white
accessories: corner chomper, half pearls, dimensionals

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Instead of the stamping marathon I had planned for the day before Valentine's Day, I had to unload the closet of my craft room because the carpet was sopping wet, as was the floor in the neighboring bathroom. The builder stopped by, cut a bunch of holes in my dry wall, and eventually determined that the leak could only be in the wax seal under the toilet.

Which means the holes in my dry wall were not, strictly speaking, necessary. But no matter. It will all get put back, good as new.


In the meantime, my craft organization looks like this:

I made this anyway. It's crazy layout reflects my crazy life. A bit random but full of love.

Happy Valentine's Day. I heart you all!!!

stamps: SU (discontinued) and Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Gina K
accessories: corner chomper

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Round and Round Goes Green and Gray

While I had Papertrey's Round and Round out for the OLW challenge, I decided to try a green and gray combo. I love Memento's Pear Tart (hee, hee!) and London Fog.

After I stamped the circles, I trimmed the extra off each edge, so the card is actually about 5.25" wide rather than the standard 5.5". It looked WAYYYY too symmetrical, so I stamped the sentiment directly over the images in the sweet spot (bottom right third). That keeps the card from being boring.

Well, I think it does.

For those who are interested in my new stamp catalog, here's a sample of a few pages. I'm using cheap 80lb white card stock from Office Depot and sepia ink.

These are stamps from my storage drawers. All my Papertrey sets, stored in jewel cases separately, are in a different binder.

Hope you all had a good weekend! We sure did, and things are looking better on the home front. Thank you all for your kindness!

stamps: Papertrey Round and Round (anniversary set)
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mojo Does a Bunk

My mojo has fled. Not sure where it's vacationing, but I'm sure it'll come back. It always does.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One-Layer Wednesday #78: Circles, Circles Everywhere

This week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge is to make a one-layer card using MORE THAN FIVE circles on your card. Now's your chance to give those circle sets and polka-dot backgrounds a workout.

Using five or more circles on a card isn't that challenging, so the real challenge here is that you are NOT allowed to pop punched or die-cut circles on your one-layer card...that's adding a layer!!! Of course you CAN punch/die-cut a circle out of the front of your card. That's not adding a layer.

For my card, I used PTI's Round and Round set, an anniversary set that I don't use nearly enough. The circle frame has three nested circles PLUS all the dots in the decoration. The image has a polka-dotted butterfly, and I added three round rhinestones for a pop of color and more circles!
OLW78 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single sheet of card stock folded in half. No other layers of card stock allowed!

2. Use at least FIVE circles on your card. If you feel so inclined, one of them can be the card base itself, but do NOT use punched or die cut circles!

3. Upload your card somewhere on the internet and link back to it here via the InLinkz button on the sidebar.

4. The most important rule of all is to HAVE FUN!!!

stamps: Papertrey Ink (Round and Round)
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: corner chomper, rhinestones

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another OLW Card

I couldn't stop with just one birdie birthday card. Here's a bird from StampinUp (forget which was a gift so perhaps someone could weigh in). Ah, yes, thank you, Vicky! It's from Punch Potpourri. I broke up that set and threw away the clamshell box. Not always a good move.

I curved the sentiment from Papertrey's Sign Language and added some pearls for accent.

Reader KC commented that she's taking pictures of her stamps to create an inventory. I considered this as well and even took some pictures. It's a great idea, and it would certainly be easier than stamping them all. But I wanted an inventory that would be easy to add to and that had true sizes on it. If these aren't requirements for you, I say snap away!

There is one large grab bag left. Click for information!

Stamps: SU (bird), PTI Sign Language (sentiment)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: half pearls, corner chomper

OLW77, Glittery Bird Birthday

This week's OLW is hosted by Jennifer, and it's to make a birthday card featuring a bird. Fabulous! Here's my first effort for it, a glittery confection that involved thinking outside the margins...or inside the margins...oh, whatever.

I love this peacock set from  Hero Arts, but it's always a challenge to keep the peacocks from just floating. I'm going to try my shadow stamps next, I think. But for now, a fancy cut does the trick.

There are two types of glitter on the card: Stickles (in lime and turquoise on the bird) and Doodlebug loose glitter (on the ground, as it were). I attached the loose glitter with a 1.5" x 5.25" strip of Tack and Peel....sheets of adhesive you can cut to size, punch, or die cut. Very cool.

Happy Monday! And if you haven't played the OLW this week, jump on board!

stamps: Hero Arts (peacock, discontinued), Papertrey (sentiment, Birthday Basics)
ink: Memento tuxedo black

paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: Stickles, Doodlebug glitter, Tack and Peel, corner chomper, scissors

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stuff and Things

First, let's get today's card up because I'm sick and feeling oddly chatty, so this post gets really long and most of you will not want to read my cold-medicine-induced ramblings.

It may be hard to tell, but I stamped the starburst flower (Hero Arts) in two shades of Memento pink. If you click on the picture, you should see a larger version of it! I just twisted the image slightly so the two colors don't overlap perfectly. That way, the flower has a bit of dimension to it.
Looking at the photo, I now wish I'd put black thread or even thin black-and-white gingham ribbon on the button. It would have more punch that way. Oh well. Next time.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: button, DMC floss, corner chomper

And now for the random stuff and things.

1. Did you know that this month marks the fifth anniversary of Papertrey Ink? This company completely changed my thinking about clear stamps. Until I bought Beautiful Blooms, I thought all clear stamps were garbage. Now, I know better. Papertrey taught me the difference between silicone stamps (garbage) and photopolymer (fabulous). This opened up glorious worlds of stamping options for me!

The style at Papertrey in the early years was simple, simple, simple. I wanted to be PTI co-founder Nichole Heady when I grew up. In the past few years, the PTI style has gradually increased in complexity, along with the product line, which now includes custom dies, card stock, inks, and all sorts of embellishments. Nevertheless, it's a rare PTI release that doesn't leave me wanting to buy some stamps.  I'm very excited to check out the sneak peeks as they lead up to the reveal on the 15th!

2. Papercraft Inspirations contacted me a few days ago to ask for permission to publish one of my cards in its March issue (April issue for Americans). How completely cool is that?!?! Tickled pink doesn't even come close to describing how I feel right now!!!!

3. I have A Muse's new catalog in my hot little hands thanks to Lianna Vigil. So much gorgeous eye candy!

4. Inventory Update: I've started work on my stamp inventory, which seems fairly necessary for tracking what I've used for my Use-All-My-Image-Stamps Resolution. I also really miss having an inventory just for inspiration. It's so much easier to flip through a binder of stamped images than to flip through jewel cases or rummage through drawers. Here's what I'm doing.

a. Two separate inventories, both based on where I store my stamps. One inventory is just for Papertrey Ink stamps, which are stored in CD holders. The other is for my drawers of stamps (including clear, cling, and wood-mounted stamps). The drawers are organized by theme. There will be no cross-referencing. This strategy minimizes the amount of time and stamping for the inventory. I want to keep it simple. Of course.

b. Spreading out the stamping. I am only stamping one drawer's contents every two or three days. This should keep me from re-injuring my elbow. I have stamped out three drawers already. Obviously this will take a while.

c. Not stamping some stuff.  I'm NOT planning to include loose sentiments or sets that are all sentiments in my drawer inventory. As nice as it would be to have a sentiment index (all thank you stamps on one page, all happy birthday stamps on one page, etc.), that's a Herculean task given the sheer quantity of sentiments I own. Makes my elbow hurt just to think about it.

d. Keeping track. As I use an image stamp, I'll put a tick mark by it on the inventory in pencil. If I decide after using a particular stamp that I don't want to keep that stamp, I'll put an X on the image and put the stamp in a box in the closet. When the box is full, I'll sell it as a grab bag.

5. Pictures of my craft space are not forgotten. I'm just not there yet. I want to completely refurnish my craft room but cannot afford to. George and I have been working single-handedly to revitalize the economy. We've purchased a new house and are doing our darnedest to furnish it and decorate it to our satisfaction. We are incredibly blessed to be able to do this. But there isn't a spare $1,000 or so in the budget to redo my perfectly adequate craft space. I have, therefore, been thinking, processing, brainstorming, and contemplating how to work with what I  have to make my space as fabulous as I can. I'm slow but steady, and you'll see pictures as soon as I can decide some stuff.

6. Memento's New Colors. About dang time. Tsukineko announced 12 new colors of Memento Ink! I'm still disappointed that there's not a nice aqua or gold, but the new colors fill a need in the line, which until March, contains only 24 colors. I will, of course, be buying them all in the dew drop size as soon as they are available. I have issues that frankly don't need any help.

Wow, if you made it with me this far, thank you ever so much. You are a saint. Now, I'm off to take a nap. Or maybe cough up a lung. Not sure. Have a wonderful Superbowl Sunday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Random Inspiration

The primary inspiration for my red tree card HERE was actually a brown paper bag from Starbuck's with a red-and-white winter scene. The bag held a piece of banana bread that begged me to eat it. Of course, I always flex to white card bases, but every now and then, I have to use kraft, and that brown paper bag made me do it.

Nothing is ever my fault, you see.

Going to bed for a good night's sleep and hoping to get some stamping done this weekend. I hope y'all do, too!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tutorial on Using a Stamp Positioner

I know a lot of you are big fans of stamp positioners. So am I. With wood-mounted stamps, a stamp positioner is critical for exact placement.

Some people, however, are scared of stamp positioners. They seem cumbersome and awkward. But really, they are essential tools for clean-and-simple stamping. So here's a little tutorial. Once you play around with a stamp positioner, you'll realize just how powerful this simple little tool is.

Trust me.

1. I started with the word big stamped on the edge of a portrait-oriented card using a large clear alphabet. I wanted to put the word hugs tucked under the letter i in big. The only stamp I had with the word hugs on it was this wood-mounted stamp from Hero Arts (discontinued).

2. So I stamped the sentiment on my stamp positioner. Mine is an old one from the long-defunct Personal Stamp Exchange (duh). It consists of an L-shaped piece of thick acrylic and a thinner sheet of acrylic. All stamp positioners I've seen are variations on these two things and work the same way. Tuck the thinner sheet into the L, use the corner of the L to guide the wood-mounted stamp down onto the thinner sheet. Always use a dark ink on the stamp positioner so you can see it clearly.

3. Now, since I just want the word hugs, I cleaned the stamp and masked off the lots of, inked hugs, and removed the post-its.

5. Put the thinner acrylic sheet over the place you want to stamp your image, and slide the L up to the corner.

6. Holding the L shaped piece in place, move the thinner sheet away, and use the L to guide your stamp onto the paper. And that's all there is to it!!!!


I finished the card with some large parentheses.

See, now. It's not that bad, is it? If you don't have a stamp positioner and use wood-mounted stamps, get one. If you have one and don't use it, drag it out and play. I double-dog dare you!

And now I'm off to play the OLW77. Tweet, tweet!!!

Happy Winter?

For the past two days, the weather here in Ohio has felt positively primavera. Low 60s (Farenheit, not Celsius), sunshine, birds singing enthusiastically. It looks like winter outside, with bare trees and dormant grass (or, in our yard, rampant mud), but tt doesn't feel like winter.

It feels weird.

Where's our snow?

I know I should be careful what I ask for, but my children are so sad that they haven't had a single snow day this year. They want to sled, and make snow angels and snow cream and snow men, and help their dad shovel snow.

So here's a card to celebrate winter. Obviously, someone in the world is having it. Just not us.

stamps: A Muse (tree), Hero Arts (shadow, discontinued), Papertrey (sentiment, Holiday Treats)
ink: SU (real red), Memento (blue)
paper: Papertrey
accessories: half pearls, corner chomper